Jun 23, 2010

Team USA Victorious in South Africa

The World Cup for group C began with team USA and England being the favorites to advance from the group but today as the last games of the group stage were about to begin both teams found themselves trailing Slovenia by 2 points. 

Of course there were multiple scenarios for either one, both, or neither of them to advance. The easy route for both teams to the round of 16 was simple; win and your in.

England was playing against Slovenia, while the US was playing Algeria. With England leading against Slovenia the US had to win or they would be exiting the tournament early. But unlike England, the US had a much more difficult time getting the win. This game, like most US games, would be dramatic to say the least. The US came out ready to play; this intensity along with a plan to push more people forward than usual allowed the US to get a lot of shots on goal. In the first half, Clint Dempsey found the back of the net which would have put the US up 1-0 on Algeria, but the goal was disallowed because he was off-sides. This of course was the 2nd time, in the same number of games, that the refs have missed a call that has taken away not 1 but 2 goals for team USA. But the US didn't let it keep them down, they kept pushing forward towards the goal. 

With blown opportunity after blown opportunity, team USA found themselves locked in a tie at the end of 90 minutes. The ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time to the game. This was it 4 minutes left to decide their fate. Just when almost every fan thought all hope was lost Tim Howard threw in a pass to a wide open Landon Donovan with space to run. Donovan jetted down the field and passed the ball to Jozy Altidore who took a shot at the goal. Just like many more shots before, Altidore's didn't find its way in the net, but Dempsey came in and attacked the rebound, but still no goal. This time though, unlike all the others, a charging Landon Donovan nailed the Dempsey rebound in the corner of the net in the 91st minute. Finally, the moment that every player, fan, and coach had been waiting for was here: The US had scored the single goal they needed to advance. The celebration was on! All that was left was to finish out the final few minutes of stoppage time without allowing an Algeria equalizer. 

This was one of the most exciting games to watch. Anyone who loves drama should love team USA because they like no other team in the tournament have a flair for the dramatics. It seems like every game that they play has you on the edge of your seat. With this in mind, you will not want to miss their round of 16 game this Saturday versus Ghana. I'm sure it will be dramatic as well. And as Landon Donovan said himself "We're not done yet... We're alive baby!!"

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